As I have traveled cross country in the past couple of weeks, from Los Angeles to New England, I have continued to hear doom and gloom about layoffs, cut paychecks, reduced benefits and cut hours. Although the effect of the recession is staggering in its depth, breadth and sadness, I want to proclaim that it is good news in the long run-not necessarily for those individuals affected, but for the economy and the companies involved.
A datum is used as an established point of reference for the purpose of meaningfully measuring, synchronizing and positioning data. Without a reference point, measurements are relatively insignificant. It is the same for our data. Without centralized storage, our data are often so scattered across our folders, desktops, servers and collectors that they become unrelated and meaningless.
It is no wonder that geographic information systems and surveying are in a state of turmoil over supremacy. The information-conscious among us seized the opportunity to manipulate the data left on the servers, and the birth of geographic information systems began. As this realization occurred to the surveyor, the battle to regain control of collected data ensued.
There is a lot of talk these days about how the economy is doing. Are we at the bottom? Is the situation beginning to turn around? In the development business, the surveyor has long been the economic bellwether.
It is important for everyone in the surveying and engineering professions to understand that the privilege of providing professional services comes with the responsibility of doing so ethically and with integrity.
Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world." When people ask the National Museum of Surveying, “Why a surveying museum? How boring!”-Einstein’s statement has become our motto.
By uniquely tagging each piece of data in a process, we can do almost anything and have a permanent record of that action and how it relates to other processes. We can pin down the birthplace of each piece of data-how it was created, who created it and what format it was created in. When each piece of data is created once and tagging it uniquely, we can ensure that it is routed efficiently through the rest of the system.
I just heard a surveyor say that he wishes he had never become a surveyor. This licensed fellow has been unemployed for a year and a half and is doing part-time work and odd jobs to pay the bills. In fact, he is now repairing lawn mowers and said he is making more money than he did as a surveyor.
Once you have a thorough understanding of your user data needs, the next step is to begin mapping the major workflow process in your organization from beginning to end. To build efficient and timeless processes, data must flow smoothly from process to process and do so from a single source.